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Matthew Rhys opens up on 'Late Night' about how he never really understood the plot of 'The Americans'
The ‘Cocaine Bear’ and ‘Perry Mason’ actor hilariously admits he has ‘no idea what’s going on.’
Aside from the actual bear in Cocaine Bear, Matthew Rhys has arguably the movie’s most important role — even if it's cameo-sized. After all, if drug smuggler Andrew C. Thornton II (Rhys) had never made it snow over Georgia, director Elizabeth Banks would never have had the inspired idea to make a horror-comedy about the real-life animal that came across the blow and greedily scarfed it all down.
Before he teamed with Margo Martindale (Ranger Liz) and real-life spouse Keri Russell (Cocaine Bear’s Sari) to headline Universal Pictures’ terror tale of ursine adrenaline, Rhys’ longtime role as Phillip Jennings on FX's The Americans already had him well acquainted with both his fellow actors’ talent. The set of Cocaine Bear, in fact, ended up feeling a lot like “an Americans reunion,” Rhys gushed during a recent stop at Late Night with Seth Meyers. “We loved it!”
But as Rhys hilariously confesses in the Late Night clip below, no amount of goodwill among friends could help him understand The Americans’ sophisticated and sometimes labyrinthine spy-drama plot — never mind that he and Russell anchored the series through six whole seasons as its centerpiece undercover KGB couple.
Check it out:
“I had the entire production team, the entire writing staff — and I still was like, ‘I have no idea what’s going on!’” a totally innocent-looking Rhys pleaded.
“I freely admit I’m not the sharpest tool in the box. I’m probably the biggest tool in the wardrobe. But I’m like, ‘This is so complicated! …I like to think I’m the ‘Everyman.’ I’m like, ‘Look, if I understand it, we’re golden.’ …And everyone will be going, ‘We all understand it except you.’”
As for Rhys’ current HBO Max gig as the namesake super-attorney in the network’s Perry Mason series, well…not much seems to have changed. Prodded by Meyers to show off at least a dummy’s understanding of his character’s brilliant legal mind, Rhys threw up his hands once again: “I had no idea what was going on!” he despaired. “I was forever going, ‘Who’s he?!’ And they’re like, ‘That’s the guy you’re defending!’”
Oof. The cruel clouds of basic barrister comprehension hopefully will part as Perry Mason gets set to make its Season 2 return beginning March 6. But at least Rhys’ real-life cluelessness in the multiple award-nominated role doesn’t come across at all on the small screen (though the same can’t be said for his disaster-bound Cocaine Bear character).
Disaster, in fact, is pretty much the main event as Cocaine Bear rampages a trail of coked-up destruction (and bodies) through the spooky southern woods. Catch Rhys in terror’s wake alongside his probably more plot-savvy The Americans costars, with Cocaine Bear now playing in theaters nationwide. Click here for tickets!